Hurrah! Those noises? Oh, that’s the sound of us slapping our own backs while singing our own praises, and all whilst blowing our own trumpets.
Because in the highly prestigious Icons of Whisky and World Whisky Awards for 2023, administered and judged by experts from the industry bible, Whisky Magazine, Vintage Bottlers won two gold and two silver medals at the ceremony held in Edinburgh in early December. Especially gratifying was the recognition by the judges of the first two releases of our Secret Series range; a category winning Gold award for our single Sherry cask, 30-year-old Highland malt, and a silver for the 29-year-old, single-cask Speyside. We have high hopes for similar success in the future for the forthcoming third member of the range, a 32-year-old Islay.
Anybody who has tasted the 21-year-old, rum-aged Port Charlotte in our Vintage Series will be nodding their heads in understanding why it landed the gold medal in the Islay malts category. This is a truly outstanding exemplar of Islay style, with the peat, brine and medicinal iodine beautifully balanced by a shot of demerara-sweetness.
Completing the Vintage Bottlers’ medal haul was the silver in the Non-Islay Island category, won by our Isle of Arran. This 24-year-old, big-flavoured single-cask malt, shouting malt and oats with a tart fruitiness, is bottled at a winter-defying 51.6% ABV.
But while we in the office noisily raise a glass to our successes in the Whisky Magazine awards, we of course acknowledge that the honours truly belong to those dedicated artisans in the highlands, lowlands and islands of Scotland, whose skills, acceptance of the modern whilst retaining the best of time-honoured traditions going back hundreds of years, continue to distil the 100s of fascinating, complex, deeply satisfying varieties we know and love as whisky.